One thing I learned while traveling to Italy and France last month is that its really hard to get a good cocktail. Sure there’s a plethora of awesome wine, champagne and prosecco, but since I’m not a huge wine drinker, sometimes I just wanted a good ol’ girly drink, like an Espresso Martini. It all started while in Venice, we were tired from walking all day and wanted an afternoon cocktail. We popped into a little bar that looked like they had a lot of different alcohol and asked if they could make us an Espresso Martini. I’m not sure if the look we got was because the bartender didn’t quite understand English, or if he just thought we were weird asking for such a thing! But we were determined to get something other than wine and we were in dire need of some caffeine!
So what else was there to do but teach the bartender how to make one? And that’s exactly what we did. After all, they all have espresso machines so how hard could it be? And, we did spy some vodka and Kahlua on the shelf so I knew it could be done! After asking the bartender to mix up a little espresso, vodka, Kahlua, and cream/milk, this is what we got:
One very big espresso martini! I’m not sure why he put straws in the drink, but they all seem to do that. Strange. Anyhow, I think he was very proud of his creation, as he should have been because it was just what we wanted and really, really good! What I particularly liked about this drink is how he floated the frothed milk on top. If you know how to do that, great, but if not, just add some half & half to the shaker and mix it with the rest of the ingredients like I did.
The icing on the cake was when three other customers came in just as we were getting our drinks, asked what it was and ordered the same thing! And even funnier…the other bartender apparently didn’t want to be outdone so he took over and made them and added his special touch…shaved chocolate (or maybe it was cocoa powder, I can’t remember)!
Here’s the recipe for a delicious Espresso Martini – European style, or at least how we told them to make them. Such a yummy cocktail for a late afternoon pick me up!
- 1 shot espresso (or very strong coffee)
- 1 shot vodka
- 1 shot Kahlua
- 1 shot half & half*
- Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into chilled martini glass.
- *If you are able to froth milk like they do in coffee shops, by all means do that and layer it on top like the pictures above instead of combining half & half with the alcohol.